Smith Takes Springfield Mile (Official Results Pending)
NEWS May 25, 2009
-- Official Results Pending Technical Review--
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (May 25, 2009) - The AMA Pro Grand National Twins Championship is officially under way with the running of the opening round, the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association's Springfield Mile. For the most part the heavy rains that were in the area steered clear of the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the entire weekend ran on schedule. That is until nine laps into the Grand National, when a light rain fell on part of the track. It didn't last long and after a little track ironing the race was back under way.
Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson / Moroney's Harley-Davidson's Bryan Smith came out of the gate fast as he posted the fastest heat race win before winning the $1000 & five points for the four lap dash. He also took quick control of the twenty five lap National. In typical Springfield action Smith had his mirrors full of a large gaggle of riders. Total Control Racing / Chris Carr Racing's Nick Cummings, Latus Harley-Davidson / Screamin' Eagles' Joe Kopp, Harley-Davidson of Wausau's Willie McCoy, Chris Carr Racing / Lancaster Harley-Davidson's Chris Carr, Blue Springs Screamin' Eagle's Jared Mees and defending Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth aboard his Factory backed Harley-Davidson all were on Smith‘s rear wheel.
Other than Carr drafting into the lead on lap five, Smith was in control. On lap seven a light rain began to fall and the race had to be stopped on lap nine. When the race resumed it looked like typical Springfield action, but a closer look showed two time Springfield winner, Kenny Coolbeth slipping drastically to the rear of the field.
With the laps running down Carr and Smith were running wheel to wheel with Mees, Kopp, Cummings, Memphis Shades' JR Schnabel, McCoy and Zanotti Racing's Jethro Halbert in tow.
After making a certain amount of history by putting a stock framed Ducati into the main, road racer Larry Pegram had an oil fitting break on his Ducati Foremost / Lloyd Brothers Racing mount and he spun down exiting turn four on lap twenty one. This led to a five lap shootout. This restart didn't last long as Schnabel fell in turn three of the first lap. Due to the number of restarts the teams were allowed to add fuel during what is now a no-work time frame.
The last restart was just that. "I had to win this race four or five times," said Smith. "I don't have a lot of luck with restarts, but today it worked out." The big winner from the restart was Coolbeth as he charged all the way from sixteenth to finish just inches short of the win. "I don'e know what was wrong with the bike early on. It would run, then stop, then run," said Coolbeth. "It really ran for five laps though."
Carr would have to settle for third with Mees Cummings and Kopp all the lead draft at the line. Jethro Halbert, McCoy, Matt Weidman (Silkolene / SuperTrapp) and Stevenscycle.com / Greg Crow Racing's Bryan Bigelow filled out the top ten.
The Pro Singles Championship made it's first appearance on a track other than short track of TT and the big track bit a few youngsters. Last night's TT winner, JD Beach (Team 95 / Red Bull / American Honda), and Weirbach Racing's James Rispoli were locked in a battle for the lead when Price Truck Line/ Kennedy Tire's Michael Toon joined in on the fun. Toon took a narrow lead until the red came out five laps into the race when Mike Poe fell in turn three.
The battle resumed with Brothers Powersports‘ Brad Baker and Lancaster Harley-Davidson‘s Shayna Texter joining the fray. Beach led on the white flag, but when it counted, Toon was first across the chalk. Texter slipped up to third over Beach and Baker.
PRO SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT (18 riders, 12 laps): 1. Michael Toon (Hon); 2. James Rispoli (Hon); 3. Shayna Texter (Suz); 4. JD Beach (Hon); 5. Brad Baker (Hon); 6. Jeff Carver (Yam); 7. John Long (Suz); 8. Corby Scherb (Hon); 9. Tony Davila (Hon); 10. Corey Crawford (Hon); 11. Stephen Vanderkuur (Hon); 12. Michael LaBelle (Yam); 13. Brian Tapp (Hon); 14. Colt Chebultz (Hon); 15. Kayl Kolkman (Hon); 16. Chaz Springsteen (Hon); 17. Michael Poe (Hon); 18. Andrew Smith (Hon).
GRAND NATIONAL TWINS CHAMPIONSHIP MAIN EVENT (19 riders, 25 laps): 1. Bryan Smith (H-D); 2. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 3. Chris Carr (H-D); 4. Jared Mees (H-D); 5. Nick Cummings (H-D); 6. Joe Kopp (H-D); 7. Jethro Halbert (H-D); 8. Willie McCoy (H-D); 9. Matt Weidman (H-D); 10. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 11. Don Taylor (H-D); 12. Brandon Robinson (H-D); 13. Logan Myers (H-D); 14. Larry Pegram (Duc); 15. JR Schnabel (H-D); 16. Shaun Russell (H-D); 17. Jake Johnson (H-D); 18. Sammy Halbert (H-D); 19. Stevie Bonsey (H-D).